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Tiger I

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Tiger I
Tiger Turret
Close-up of the tank. No it's not the Fegel-Panzer.

Type

Heavy tank

Place of origin

Nazi Germany

In service

1942–1945

Weight

56.9 tonnes

Armour

25–120 mm (0.98–4.7 in)

“Whenever a big gun opened up on us from the treeline, the word went out; "Tiger!" Anything that was shooting an 88 at us was assumed to be a Tiger. It was the boogeyman, because we didn’t have much that could stop it. Bazooka rockets bounced off it, and the Shermans could pound one all day and barely chip the paint. Maybe if you had an 81 mm mortar crew handy with a supply of Willy Pete you might get lucky and either set one on fire or blind it with smoke.”
―Pete Riordan, 101st Airborne Division
“We called it the "furniture van" because it was so big and clumsy. Powerful and well armored? Ja, sure. Plentiful and well-supplied with fuel? Nein. When we were advancing, Tigers and Panthers led the way and nothing could resist us. When we retreated, the Tigers got left behind and were soon overwhelmed without infantry support.”
―Hermann Muenster, Panzer Lehr Division

Tiger I is the common name of a German heavy tank used in World War II, developed in 1942. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E, often shortened to Tiger. It was an answer to the unexpectedly formidable Soviet armour encountered in the initial months of Operation Barbarossa, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88 mm gun, which had previously demonstrated its effectiveness against both air and ground targets. 

While the Tiger I was feared by many of its opponents, it was over-engineered, used expensive and labour intensive materials and production methods, and was time-consuming to produce. Only 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and immobilization problems. It was, however, generally mechanically reliable but expensive to maintain and complicated to transport.

In 1944, production was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.

In the parodies

The Tiger appears as a background vehicle in one of the battle scenes used frequently in the parodies, in the Schenck in the Hospital scene, and during the German surrender. In the film, it was a mocked-up T-54/55 - the same replica used in the five-part Soviet film Liberation, or Osvobozhdenie, not to mention several other WWII films produced by Mosfilm. It is never seen moving nor shooting. It was one of the few tanks to appear in the film; the other was the T-34.

Due to "scripting mistakes", the Panzer IVs in Fegelein's Bloody Night Before Christmas turn into Tiger tanks when destroyed.

Michael Wittmann's Tiger tank appears in the MikuMikuDance-based parody, Jodl fights Michael Wittmann, where Jodl tries to destroy the former's tank with his Jagdpanther, only to be defeated himself.

Gallery

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